Midvale Journal | February 2022

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February 2022 | Vol. 19 Iss. 14


CANCER SURVIVOR COMPLETES NYC MARATHON RAISES MONEY FOR CHARITY By Sarah Morton Taggart | s.taggart@mycityjournals.com


hysical activity can benefit the body, the brain and sometimes even a charitable cause. Late last year, Midvale resident Morgan McLeod raised $4,615 for Girls on the Run, an organization dear to her heart. McLeod began running when she was in college after learning that she had thyroid cancer. “It was a way for me to kind of deal with the stresses of college and being diagnosed,” McLeod said. “It’s a space where I’m not competing against anyone, it’s just myself.” But running does not have to be a solitary pursuit. McLeod invited her sister to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. with her. “It was such an impactful race,” McLeod said. “Just to see veterans and amputees running past. That’s when I was like, wow—this space can be so inspirational.” A few years later, McLeod began raising money for the Livestrong Foundation. Runners can raise money for charities through race registration fees and asking friends and family to pledge a dollar amount per race or distances they run.

“It’s a personal goal, but I’m also making a difference with miles,” McLeod said. “I love that idea.” In 2020, McLeod began coaching for Girls on the Run. “Their mission is to work with girls in elementary school and middle school to equip and empower them to be the best version of themselves,” McLeod said. “Studies have shown that around that time, that’s when bullying starts. That’s when issues of self-esteem start.” The after-school program emphasizes the connection between physical and emotional health. “For example, one week you might be talking about the importance of friendships and the next week we’re talking about confidence,” McLeod said. “At the end of the season they run this 5K race that’s the culmination of everything Continued page 5 Morgan McLeod (left) poses for a photo after completing the Girls on the Run 5K race with Hailee, one of the girls she coached. (Photo courtesy Morgan McLeod)

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Will the opioid settlement come to Midvale? By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com


ver 10 million people misused prescription opioids in 2019 in the United States. Of those people, 1.6 million had an opioid use disorder. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website: “In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. “Increased prescription of opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.” Companies involved in advertising, selling and distributing opioid medications were aware the medication was highly addictive. “The first wave began with increased prescribing of opioids in the 1990s, with overdose deaths involving prescription opioids (natural and semi-synthetic opioids and methadone) increasing since at least 1999,” states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox’s administration released a statement this year about the opioid epidemic. “These companies failed to protect consumers from the dangers of opioids, even when they claimed to have systems in place to do so,” said Margaret Busse, executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce. Because of this, dozens of entities, from local to state governments, including Native American tribes, sued the opioid companies to help pay for the damages suffered. Instead of coming to an agreement with each prosecutor separately, the National Prescription Opioid Litigation (NPOL) Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee was formed and included lawyers representing all the 3,000 clients working together for one large agreement. The settlement agreement has not been

Journals T H E

The terms of the Opioid Settlement Agreement. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

finalized, but the settlement as it stands now states that the three distributors will collectively pay up to $21 billion over 18 years to qualifying states, counties and local governments. Salt Lake County Attorney General Sim Gill said it is premature to assume any city or county in Utah will get money. “This is a major litigation with nuance complexities. Micro-distributions are highly speculative. It is counting chickens that are not hatched, or haven’t even been laid.” Until the end of January 2022, governments, local and state, were able to register with the National Opioid Settlement (www.

nationalopioidsettlement.com) to declare their interest in receiving financial aid from the settlement for their state and county. Though cities like Midvale and West Jordan registered with the agreement, as Gill stated, there is no guarantee money will come. Why register? “The participation of non-litigants is to put pressure on the defendants,” Gill said. Midvale’s City Attorney Lisa Garner said something similar to the Midvale City Council as they discussed whether to participate in the settlement. “The more subdivisions that join the




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more the state gets,” Garner said. “In an effort to make sure the state and county get as much as possible, we need to register to participate. There’s no guarantee that the city will receive any funds, it’s just overall better for the community for us to help.” The Mayor of West Jordan also registered their city. West Jordan City Attorney Rob Wall said that the funds will go primarily to Salt Lake County. “$309 million of the $26 billion, would go to the state,” Wall said. “The remaining balance would go to the counties.” The money can only be used for the treatment, recovery and prevention of addiction. l


Midvale City Journal

Hillcrest High National Honors Society members warm hearts with fleece blankets By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


pread on the floor of a meeting room were dozens of two layers of fleece being knotted together. The double-thick fleece blankets, with animal prints and bold designs, were being tied by Hillcrest High National Honors Society members to give to Helping Hands International, a refugee program that helps refugees locally and abroad. Three hundred dollars was donated for fleece to make about 50 blankets by Millcreek Rotary, said National Honors Society adviser Su Veenstra. The effort was made to provide blankets for the organization as well as for members to engage in the activity and work together on it, she said. “It’s a way for them to get to know each other and have fun providing service,” Veenstra said, adding that each National Honors Society member is expected to provide at least 10 hours of service each school quarter. The club’s president, Ryan Chen, said that he hoped students would become more engaged in service through this effort, not just buy something to donate. “It’s more fun when you can do service together,” the high school senior said. “It’s enjoyable and motivates us to want to do more. It’s especially great to do together after last year when everything went virtual.” The idea of making blankets to serve Helping Hands International came about from juniors Leslie Andrade and Kenna Seegmiller. “Helping Hands International is helping a lot of refugees from the Middle East, who aren’t prepared for winter here, so we thought this was a way we can help,” said Andrade, who serves as the chapter’s tutoring officer. “By working together, this means more, and we’re doing something good for our community.” Seegmiller, who serves as the chapter secretary, said at first, they held a donation drive, but only received three blankets. So, they rethought their process and decided engagement was a key factor. About 35 students came to tie 50 blankets. “It’s easier to participate when it’s engaging and you’re showing that you really care,” she said. Andrade said that the chapter is also involved in other service projects such as backpack drives, tutoring at nearby Copperview Elementary, teaming up with the school’s Earth Club to pick up trash along the school’s Adopt-a-Highway, holding peer tutoring at the school, and helping read books for refugee children. The latter program is part of the Reading with Puppets

Continued from front page they’ve learned, and tackling this goal that a lot of them don’t think they can do.” McLeod lived in Virginia when she started coaching, and it was something she sought out when she and her husband moved to Midvale in March 2021. “I didn’t know anyone,” McLeod said. “It’s just me and the dog during the day, so I need some sort of social interaction.” McLeod began coaching at East Sandy Elementary in September. Around that time, she learned that Girls on the Run NYC was recruiting volunteers to raise money through the TCS New York


Hillcrest High National Honors Society members spend time after school together tying blankets for refugees. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

program; Chen got involved with it during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chen is working alongside juniors Priyanka Mathews and Amber Parker, who both serve on the school’s National Honors Society chapter and on the Draper Library Teen Advisory Board. The two slated dates in late January at the library for the community as well as students to videotape themselves reading books that then will be shared with refugee school children. They also will be accepting book donations for the youngsters. “It’s a good way to get people involved,” chapter vice president Mathews said. “We’ve reached out to all the Na-

City Marathon on Nov. 7. To participate in the NYC Marathon, runners need to prove they can complete the 26-mile race within a set amount of time for their age group—or commit to raising money for a participating charity. McLeod set a personal goal to raise $5,000 for Girls on the Run NYC and came close to reaching it. Working together, she and 43 other runners raised over $100,000 for the organization. The money will go toward operational costs and direct support for participants. “It was a great collaboration of two of my favorite things,” McLeod said. “Running, and this charity I had fallen in love

tional Honors Society chapters in the area as well as PTSA chapters, and we’re hoping it will be a big community event.” Parker, who serves as Hillcrest’s NHS public relations officer, said that the service projects the National Honors Society performs goes to its core: “We are wanting to help our community and at the same time, we’re learning leadership skills and working together.” Parker was one of three chapter members who received a scholarship to participate earlier this school year in the Rotary leadership weekend to benefit the National Honors Society chapter. l

with and these girls that inspired me.” This was McLeod’s first time traveling a long distance to race. Her husband and parents were there to cheer her on, but she planned to run solo in the crowd of more than 25,000 participants. “Midway through the race, another woman that had been fundraising saw that I had the Girls on the Run bib and ran with me for probably five miles,” McLeod said. “It (the marathon) was a struggle, so having her run with me was a really special experience and a cool surprise I wasn’t expecting.” One week later, McLeod became a last-minute running buddy for one of the girls she had coached. The girl’s father had

torn a quad muscle, so McLeod stepped in and ran with her instead. All 13 girls McLeod coached completed the 10-week program. “Before the 5K I brought my medal and showed the girls,” McLeod said. “I said coach Mo did the marathon. You guys can do the 5K.” Now cancer-free for 10 years, McLeod believes anyone can start running. She recommends having a good training plan and running with a group, if possible. “People tell me, ‘Oh, I could never do that,’” McLeod said. “You can. You just have to start somewhere and start slow.”l

February 2022 | Page 5

Midvale oath of office ceremony sees new mayor sworn in By Erin Dixon | e.dixon@mycityjournals.com

Councilmember Dustin Gettel retakes the oath of office. He has been on the council since 2018. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

Former Mayor Robert Hale and his wife attended the oath of office ceremony. Previous mayors are not required to go. It was a gesture of goodwill. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

Councilmember Bryant Brown retakes the oath of office. He has been on the council since 2018. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

Mayor Marcus Stevenson takes the oath of office for the first time, using his grandmother’s Bible. His grandmother had a long history of public service. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

Page 6 | February 2022

Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera, County Mayor Jenny Wilson and Sen. Kathleen Riebe attended the oath of office ceremony on Jan 4. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

Midvale City Journal

A young mom championed the creation of Jordan Valley School nearly 60 years ago By Sarah Morton Taggart | s.taggart@mycityjournals.com


ordan Valley School, a place of learning and belonging for students with severe disabilities, began as a result of the tireless work of Ida Romero 57 years ago. Yet she has never stepped inside. In 1956, Romero gave birth to her third child, a girl named Jolene. “When she was born, she was not developing like the other kids,” Romero said. “I took her to the doctor and I asked what’s wrong with her. He said, well, don’t you know?” It was her third visit with the pediatrician, and Romero was finally informed that her daughter was born with Down syndrome. The genetic disorder causes developmental and intellectual delays that usually range from mild to moderate. In Jolene’s case, the delays would be severe. “He said it means she will always be a burden,” Romero recalled. “She may never walk, never talk. He said if I was you, I’d take her to an institution. I couldn’t do that. We brought her home and thought we’ll do the best we can with her.” Romero and her family loved Jolene very much, but caring for her was hard work. She was not able to do anything for herself until she was five and Romero’s husband, Nelson, had a foot injury. He used his three weeks of convalescence to teach her to feed herself. Toilet training took seven years of repetition and patience. The Romeros were lucky to have extended family nearby to help out. But when Romero had a fourth child the whole family felt the strain of caring for Jolene. Then Romero met Carmen Paulsen, who inspired her to do something she’d never imagined was possible. Romero and Paulsen met while volunteering at the Catholic school in Salt Lake City that their oldest children attended. “She said, I also have a son with mental disabilities, so I helped start a school in Salt Lake and that’s where he goes,” Romero said. “She said, why don’t you start your own?” Paulsen recommended meeting with the mayor as a first step. Luckily for Romero, Henry Beckstead, the mayor of Midvale at the time, lived around the corner from her. He agreed that there was a need for special education in the area and offered to help. Beckstead introduced Romero to Bernarr S. Furse, the Jordan School District Superintendent, and Dr. Orr Hill, who also worked for the school district. The next step was to meet with other parents of children with special needs. Romero obtained a list of 20 families from Margaret Lindsay, the school nurse at Midvale Elementary. “At that time, people hid these children. They didn’t bring them out in public,” Romero said. “I would knock on the door. They would say we don’t have any of those chil-


Ida Romero stands in front of the Jordan Valley School, which she helped found nearly 60 years ago. (Photo courtesy Manuel Romero)

dren here, and they would close the door. As we went along, some did get involved. Some didn’t.” The first meeting with parents was held in April 1965. Beckstead helped the group form a board of trustees in August with Furse serving as chairman. Romero was named secretary-treasurer and Lindsay and Paulsen also became members of the board. By October, the team had a meeting with Calvin Rampton, the governor of Utah. “Our meeting with the governor went very well,” Romero said. “He was very supportive and, like us, believed these children needed a place to be educated and cared for. But more importantly, he agreed to provide financial support from the state. I felt things were finally beginning to take shape and we were making progress.” A bit of luck was finding a space for the school. The school district owned a vacant building at 7652 Holden St. that could be used for the newly-named Jordan Valley Day Care and Training Center. Public funds and donations from civic clubs would be used for operating costs, and families would pay a modest tuition. Romero rallied the community to raise money for furniture and equipment and to update the building. They held yard sales and sold tickets for a dance. Romero’s brother volunteered his band to play the music and local businesses donated items for the raffle. They made $500 from the dance, which would be more than $4,000 in today’s dollars. “It came the time that the school was going to start,” Romero said. “They were trying to find special ed teachers and help. Then I backed off because I knew nothing about hir-

A copy of the Midvale Sentinel from September 1965 shows Ida Romero (left) with other officers of the board of the Jordan Valley Day Care and Training Center. (Photo courtesy Rachel Romero Jenson)

ing teachers.” Enrollment began in February 1966, less than a year after Romero first talked to her friend about the idea. Then Romero received bad news. “They said they couldn’t work with Jolene,” Romero said. “She fell into a category of severe mental development and would never attend the school that we helped bring to our community. I was heartbroken.” After all that work, Romero was seemingly back at square one, and expecting a fifth child. But now she had the support of influential friends. Romero had previously applied for her daughter to live at the Utah State Training School in American Fork, but they were at capacity with more than 200 families on a wait list. In 1967, Furse, the superintendent, and Lindsay, the school nurse, worked with Romero’s doctor to write a letter on her daughter’s behalf, and this time she was admitted. “When we got there I thought, I can’t do this,” Romero said. “It was like a barracks with beds lined up. I told my husband we can’t leave her here. He said let’s try it for a while. We cried all the way home, both of us.” A few weeks later they returned for a visit and found that their daughter had been badly scratched by another resident. They complained to the manager, but not much could be done. “I kept watching,” Romero said. “The

governor and mayor asked to visit the school. Now the governor was aware. His eyes were opened.” Within a year, Romero noticed things starting to change. The private institution was taken over by the state. Old buildings were replaced and more staff was brought in. Fifty-six years later, Jolene still lives there. “She’s always well taken care of,” Romero said. “She’s clean and has her own room. She still can’t do anything for herself, but it’s a better place. She’s going to be 66 on Jan. 23. They said at the time that the life expectancy for babies like her was 10 years.” The school inspired by Romero’s daughter also lives on. In 1975, the renamed Jordan Valley School moved to a new building at 7501 S. 1000 East. That same year, four students traveled to Michigan to compete at the Fourth International Special Olympics. Today the school draws around 100 students aged 5 to 22 from throughout the district each year. The students receive individualized instruction and services to maximize their independence while contributing to their community. “I’m really happy that it’s turned out how it is,” Romero said. “Maybe God gave us this kid so I could do something for these children.” l

February 2022 | Page 7

As pandemic continues, Canyons School District navigates students’ social-emotional learning By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


s Brian McGill comes into the position of student services director at Canyons School District, he sets foot into a heated issue at school board meetings for the past several months: social-emotional learning. A whirlwind has risen over the use of third-party social-emotional curriculum and not being able to control online material or additional resources. “Most school districts have offered social-emotional learning in schools for decades, but part of the issue is what some districts have run into is some have adopted and used third-party curriculum; it’s hard to control the internal measures of content that arises unless you’ve got somebody just reviewing it day in and day out and checking every little change, which doesn’t happen,” McGill said. Looking back Canyons was one of those districts that used a third-party curriculum. Second Step, which was introduced in the elementary schools in 2018, came in a three-ring binder, so there was not an issue with content changing online. For the most part, teachers and principals’ reviews were positive, and they supported the curriculum. More recently, when Second Step’s online curriculum was being added into the middle schools, it came under fire. It became a public debate after the Draper Park Middle choir teacher sent a letter to parents and quit, citing his refusal to teach the curriculum. The controversy continued during the Superintendent’s listening tour, where he invited the community to weigh in on issues related to the schools. The high school curriculum called School Connect had not been rolled out. Parents, teachers, principals all weighed in on the debate at school board meetings until Supt. Rick Robins said it would be reviewed. Eventually, the school board voted not to continue using Second Step for what Robins said, “the philosophy and direction that Second Step was going, it really did not align with our board’s vision and priorities.” One of the additional resources that was listed, loveisrespect.org, was one Canyons Board of Education Mont Millerberg cited as not being aligned with the board’s vision. Millerberg said he isn’t opposed to teach social-emotional skills, but he wants a different curriculum. “I feel social-emotional learning is an important component of education, and can recognize the value of it, but looking into the curriculum that has been put in place of Second Step’s external links, I can see the potential harm outweighing the good,” he said. “Our young people in middle school and high school are very vulnerable as they go through physical changes, trying new things,

Page 8 | February 2022

peer pressure. What they need is a safety net and support.” Second Step is used in some of Jordan School District schools. Jordan Board of Education President Tracy Miller said the board has “gone through the curriculum and the links are not given to students. We have taken them down. We feel it’s important to teach social-emotional skills and there is a lot of good content in that curriculum. We are trusting our teachers not to introduce any inappropriate material.” Robins said that was looked at, but “for me, it’s a challenge to say, we’re only going to turn off this or we’re going to pull this part of it. That becomes problematic. I think from the time that the curriculum was adopted until now, there have been many changes. I think that was really due to a shift of Second Step’s direction of philosophy.” Robins directed teachers and principals to no longer use the material. “Second Step is only a small part of our overall support to students in Canyons,” he said. “All of us, including our students, are experiencing all kinds of different challenges and trauma (heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic). We’re going to have to deal with this together and as a community, and as parents and as patrons, to take an all-in approach to invest in our students. Skills of self-regulation, empathy, kindness, respect—we’re still very committed to ensuring our students are able to learn those skills and to make that part of their educational experience.” Now The U.S. Surgeon General recently said that youth are struggling more than ever as students cope with the pandemic, anxiety in school and family challenges. A report was released saying that in the past 10 years, prior to COVID-19, high school students reported persistent feelings of “sadness or hopelessness” increased 40%. “The Surgeon General, a couple weeks ago, said that 40% of all kids either have anxiety or depression—and those are just the kids that have been identified,” McGill said. “I think it’s a clear telltale sign of what’s happening with our youth and these middle schoolers and high schoolers at a pivotal time in their lives and if they’re struggling with their mental health, then they’re going to struggle in all aspects of their behavior.” “Quite frankly,” he continued, “there hasn’t been a more critical time, I think, in our history especially the educational history, having gone through COVID, and having to deal with things that we’ve had to deal with. The behaviors that we’re seeing something out of the first wave of COVID in school settings, with an increase of kids not going to class, increase in parties, van-

Former Alta High Principal Brian McGill, who was named Utah Principal of the Year 2020-21, will head Canyons School District’s student services and oversee social-emotional learning for the school children. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

dalism of property, treatment of one another in schools to behaviors of kids in schools, drug use, fake news, all of that is just off the charts. And the one thing that we can come back to in terms of looking at the key variable of these situations is COVID—when we basically locked down schools at a period in time and their lives, those interpersonal connections and the social piece of worrying and relationship building were basically taken away from them.” McGill has mental health and substance abuse training. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology and his master’s degrees in clinical psychology, school counseling and school administration. He has worked as a school counselor and as a clinician at a family center. He advocates for schools to use the SafeUT mobile app to prevent suicides, reduce instances of bullying, and maintain a safe learning environment; his former high school was the first to use the state-funded


McGill said that as mental health impacts students, it can escalate to school violence, suicide, cyberbullying, sexting and even the recent TikTok threats. “Throughout all my research that I found, kids stating and responding to over and over and over again, was how much the metacognitive skills they need to be successful in school. It’s a huge concern because at the end of the day, if a child doesn’t have their basic essential needs met, then learning isn’t going to come. Learning becomes secondary,” he said. Going forward McGill already has met with other school districts discussing social-emotional learning. “A lot of districts are building skillbased activities, looking at things like establishing resilience, building connections with others, learning about empathy, and trying to see things through a different lens or per-

Midvale City Journal

Hillcrest’s Vocal Ensemble performs at capitol, records at BYU By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


illcrest High School’s Vocal Ensemble had to wait two years to be able to accept a special invitation to record at Brigham Young University. “It was a really special invitation we got two years ago, the summer before COVID-19—and then with COVID, they canceled it,” Hillcrest High choir director RaNae Dalgleish said. “They honored it this year, for those choirs who were invited across the state to come and record and put that recording in front of a judge.” While the Huskies didn’t win in the form of taking first place, Dalgleish said they won in having that experience. “I can tell you these kids—what a way to start the season. They had an incredible learning experience. We got to record three songs and they aired the recording three times,” she said. “I had friends come up to me and say, ‘We heard your choir on the radio today.’ How cool is that?” The Vocal Ensemble also got to learn how to record versus perform live. “Singing in front of microphones is completely different and recording than doing it live—microphones and recordings don’t lie. The microphones pick up every single detail and the recording has it immortalized. It’s forever and never goes away,” Dalgleish said, adding that she will share the recordings with her choir. While Dalgleish doesn’t know how the Huskies got selected to come, she was impressed with others who were invited. “They were all top-notch, and their recordings were beautiful,” she said. This past holiday season, Hillcrest’s 24-member Vocal Ensemble gave about 15 community performances, each about 30 minutes in length. Students audition in the spring for Vocal Ensemble and then, throughout the year, perform a variety of music from classical and Re-

naissance to Broadway and pop; most also sing in an a cappella choir. In addition to school and holiday performances, the choirs typically tour. This spring, choir students are planning to compete in the Heritage Festival in Orlando. “Typically, during the holidays, we give up to 40 performances, some are a smaller scale, but since there are still some COVID restrictions, such as at seniors centers, we weren’t able to go everywhere,” Dalgleish said about her 16th year having her students give outreach performances. “This year, there was something really special about it. I think it came with our COVID break last year that this year, we’re so appreciative and humbled that we can do it again.” They were able to perform at Jordan Valley, a school that serves students who have severe multiple disabilities. “I like taking the show to audiences that might not ever get to chance to come to our school, so this is my way of spreading light and joy of music though the community,” she said. “I was watching the kids at Jordan Valley just come alive and bouncing in their seats—that was really fun. And it’s such a joy to watch my students who may never have been around the elderly or those at Primary Children’s (Hospital) or the Ronald McDonald House. They’re enthusiastic and excited to sing and bring that joy.” This year’s Vocal Ensemble performed at the capitol, a place where Dalgleish said is a “treasure.” “Singing in the rotunda is absolutely incredible; it’s an experience the kids never forget. The echoing and reverb and the sound of the voices—I saw one cute girl and tears were streaming down her face. It is such an incredible experience,” she said. “When we were going on the bus and they asked, ‘Who are we singing for today at the capitol?’ They were shocked when I said, ‘I had no idea.’ Sometimes, we’ve sung to nobody, but I tell them,

‘It’s my gift to you’ and they understand when they begin to sing.” Much to Dalgleish’s surprise, as the group began to sing this year, Gov. Spencer Cox and others stopped to enjoy the performance. “It was so, so sweet. He was delightful and thanked the kids for bringing the Christmas spirit up there. It made it really special,” she said, adding that he was going to send an autographed photo of him with the choir. The final impromptu concert the choir gave was in the classrooms at Hillcrest itself. It was Dec. 17, the last school day before winter break, and the feeling at the school was “tense” after a TikTok threat on social media threatened harm to students at numerous high schools nationwide. “It was such a sad day; they canceled our

assembly because of the TikTok threat, and everything was so depressing,” Dalgleish said. “Half the school was gone because of that, and I actually had all but two of my students come to call and I said, ‘I think this school needs some cheer.’ So, we took the piano and rolled it up the hall—and it was completely impromptu—and we moved that piano from floor to floor, caroled in classrooms, in the front office and in a breezeway above the lunchroom. We just broke into song and the kids were looking like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on?’ before breaking into smiles. It brought some happiness and joy to the school that day. Music is such a gift—a gift of light and happiness and it was just the perfect way to end the season.” l

spective—the metacognitive elements to learning. I’m taking a look at how we build those best practices that relates to building skill sets that make kids successful in school as well as in life and having things like motivation, resiliency and determination. Drive, motivation, all those things that basically make us not only successful in life and drive us to do things that we do, our purpose. I think most parents, if not all parents, would agree with that,” he said. McGill acknowledges parents’ concerns. “Some parents have some questions around what are the teachers or educators teaching my kid as it relates to their emotions and emotional regulation, and you’ve got a faction of parents that don’t believe that it should be (taught) in a school setting,” he said.

So, with that line drawn between what should be taught in school versus in the home, McGill, who recently served as principal at Alta High, said that teachers and administrator feel pressure to help students succeed. “Schools have had a lot of pressures placed on them to provide different services besides just educating kids. A lot of schools have food pantries, and a lot of schools are providing mental health supports at a higher volume than they’ve ever done before in the history of education in America. They’re a lot of these supports that schools are providing that are needs for kids so they can focus on their learning.” Already underway is to bring in speakers on several topics one night this spring to educate and involve parents in

such topics. McGill said he will be watching the lawmakers this session to see if there’s legislation that comes out “and changes the dialogue around what school districts do as it relates to SEL (social-emotional learning) supports because there has been so much discussion and controversy,” he said. There is a history of the legislature introducing dialogues and bills around student issues, as state Rep. Susan Pulsipher said happened in 2020. “We’ve increased resources and left it up to school districts to choose how to be most effective in incorporating it, like we did with vaping and having the schools introduce education,” she said. “Jordan (District) has put counselors and psychologists in every school. I know Canyons wasn’t

happy with the changes that were taking place online with its curriculum and that can be challenging. So, they’re taking control by writing their own. The state interim committee on education looks into student services so it may look into handling the online situations.” Through the change, McGill supports teachers’ efforts to engage students in the classroom. “They’re getting them interested in their learning, helping them advocate for themselves and learn about self-awareness about how to improve their learning,” he said. “We’re going to take more of a focal approach on helping our elementary, middle and high school kids identify those strongest skill sets and then figure out ways to incorporate that within the current curriculum that they’re already teaching.”l


Gov. Spencer Cox was in the audience when Hillcrest High School’s Vocal Ensemble performed at the capitol and stayed to talk to the students. (Photo courtesy of Amy Wareham)

February 2022 | Page 9

During Copperview Elementary’s math week, students used flash cards to practice their math facts. (Photo courtesy of Emily Heath, Pam Schuller and Abby Rockefeller)

Copperview math week goes ‘old school,’ with new twist By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


uring the COVID-19 pandemic, Copperview Elementary students are finding new avenues to learn. While many have navigated the virtual learning when schools closed their doors in spring 2020, now they’re participating in the family math week—rather than math night—through take home kits. In each kit, students had sets of flashcards, which Community School Facilitator Jenna Landward learned were hard to come by during the supply chain shortage. School officials ended up making several sets so that the younger grades received addition cards while older students took home multiplication flash cards. The concept with the flash cards has a new approach. First, the students were to review them one by one and identify which they knew and those they did not. After that, students were to start with 10 cards— seven they knew and three they didn’t. The goal, Landward said, was to practice several times so they can master the unknown as well. After that, students were to take out three well-known equations and substitute those for three new flash cards they have yet to learn. “It’s an evidence-based strategy for students to learn the unknowns, but not be so overwhelmed with learning so many at once that they become frustrated,” she said. “This helps them learn, review and gain confidence and have a sense of achievement as they master more equations.” Kindergartners were encouraged to

Page 10 | February 2022

practice counting and recognize their numbers. There also were number lines for students to place beans on so they could practice their counting and memorization or to use to solve equations. “We hope to be able to introduce subtraction and division flash cards to our students so they can practice with those as well,” Landward said. “We felt strongly that we wanted to do something and while the pandemic continues, this was a way we could engage our families and our community into supporting learning.” Early on, Landward was tracking about 85 of the 420 students, about 20%, who were participating in the family math week. “For our first attempt at virtual participation, I feel really good about it,” she said. “We’re able to give tools to our families at home how they can best support their children learning. We started simple, and they don’t have to worry about any technology issues to do it. Those families who are engaging in it are loving it.” While the school’s students and families speak several native languages, firstgrade teacher Pam Schuller said that this activity is one that bridges all languages. “Parents that have done this activity speak in Farsi, Kurdish, Spanish and English,” said the teacher who had the most students participating in her class. “This was an awesome experience.” l

Midvale City Journal

What’s your legacy?

Hillcrest cheer grabs second at region By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com Hillcrest High cheerleaders qualified to compete alongside more than 7,000 athletes in the 37th annual United Spirit Association Nationals Feb. 25-27 in Anaheim, California. The varsity team and song squad recently took second at region and JV grabbed first place. Shown here the team is performing at their first regional competition of the season at Cottonwood High, on Dec. 4, competing in the small coed varsity show division. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

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Jordan Valley students given a dino-mite treat with Jurassic era visitors By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


ordan Valley students got a rare up-close glimpse of what it was during the Jurassic era when dinosaurs walked on Earth as a lifelike raptor and its baby made it right through the school’s front doors and into the cafeteria. As part of the national tour, Dino and Dragon Stroll connects with local food banks and food pantries to help “Stomp Out Hunger,” but also took the time to give students an opportunity to have a close-up exchange with the dinosaurs. Dinosaur handler Chris King brought the two dinosaurs that danced, roared and allowed the students to pet them at Jordan Valley, a school dedicated to serving students who have severe special needs. “I like to bring the dinosaurs to kids who may not be able to come to the venue so they can have a chance to have a close personal experience,” he said, adding that the trio had visited children in a local hospital earlier that day. The Dinosaur and Dragon Stroll also provided each Canyons student with a code to enter the December exhibit at the Moun- Two life-like dinosaurs visited Jordan Valley School as part of the Dino and Dragon Stroll’s outreach program. (Julie tain America Exposition Center for free. l Slama/City Journals)

Jordan Valley first-grader Charlie Faust smiles as he holds the baby dinosaur, one of two dinosaurs from the Dino and Dragon Stroll visited his school. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Jordan Valley’s Monet Heath gives a hug to one of the dinosaurs that visited her school. (Julie Slama/City Journals) Jordan Valley School’s Nathan Curtis was excited to see a life-like dinosaur up close and personal as part of the outreach that is provided by the Dino and Dragon Stroll. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

A life-like dinosaur noses over to third-grader Samantha Allred, with paraeducator, Annette Jenkins, during a visit at Jordan Valley School. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

Page 12 | February 2022

Midvale City Journal

In The Middle of Everything City Hall – 7505 South Holden Street • Midvale, UT 84047

Mayor’s Message MIDVALE CITY DIRECTORY City Hall Finance/Utilities Court City Attorney’s Office City Recorder/Human Resources Community Development Public Works Ace Disposal/Recycling Midvale Historical Museum Midvale Senior Center SL County Animal Services Police Dispatch Unified Fire Authority Fire Dispatch Communications

801-567-7200 801-567-7200 801-567-7265 801-567-7250 801-567-7228 801-567-7211 801-567-7235 801-363-9995 801-567-7285 385-468-3350 385-468-7387 801-743-7000 801-743-7200 801-840-4000 801-567-7230

MIDVALE CITY ELECTED OFFICIALS MAYOR Marcus Stevenson 801-567-7204 Email: mstevenson@midvale.com CITY COUNCIL District 1 - Quinn Sperry Email: qsperry@midvale.com District 2 - Paul Glover Email: pglover@midvale.com District 3 - Heidi Robinson Email: Hrobinson@midvale.com District 4 - Bryant Brown Email: bbrown@midvale.com District 5 - Dustin Gettel Email: dgettel@midvale.com

WHO TO CALL FOR… Water Bills Ordering A New Trash Can Reserving the Bowery Permits GRAMA requests Court Paying For Traffic School Business Licensing Property Questions Cemetery Water Line Breaks Planning and Zoning Code Enforcement Building inspections Graffiti

801-567-7200 801-567-7202 801-567-7202 801-567-7212 801-567-7207 801-567-7265 801-567-7202 801-567-7213 801-567-7246 801-567-7235 801-256-2575 801-567-7231 801-567-7208 801-567-7228 385-468-9769

EMERGENCY OR DISASTER CONTACT Public Works Fire Dispatch – Unified Fire Authority Midvale Police Precinct or Police Dispatch Unified Police Department EMERGENCY

801-567-7235 801-840-4000 385-468-9350 801-743-7000


As my first official message as Midvale City’s new mayor, I wanted to quickly introduce myself. First off, this role is new to me as I have never held public office before. I will not be a perfect mayor, but I will be consistent, hard-working, and determined to push Midvale towards its bright future. Secondly, I’m a nerd and enjoy learning about all different types of subjects. Whether it be municipal ordinances, our expanding universe, or the history of some of my favorite musicians, my mind is always looking for new information to take in. Finally, I’m a bonus dad to three young boys (who all have varying thoughts about my new role) and an incredible wife, Nikki, who has been my number one supporter on this journey. For my first message, I want to talk about volunteerism. Specifically, the need, benefit, and opportunities that the city has for our dedicated residents to get involved. Volunteering is where I first found my own passion for public service by working with organizations to register people to vote. By volunteering in voter registration efforts, it helped me see the impact a single action can make on an individual. As a volunteer, I’ve been able show individuals the power they hold in their own hands if they just learn how to use that power through appropriate measures, such as voting. Outside of voting, Midvale City has several opportunities for residents to step up and help shape our community the way they see fit. A few examples of groups that residents can volunteer with are the community council, arts council, Harvest Days, and historic society. The Midvale Community Council serves as a bridge between the city and our residents. The community council is in the process of revamping its programs and outreach and have many vol-

Midvale City Receives Financial Reporting Award The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded Midvale City with the prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for its fiscal year 2020 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR). This Certificate is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and reporting, and attaining this award represents a significant accomplishment. The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting is judged by an impartial panel to meet high program standards which include demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure.” It is awarded to a government that must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized ACFR that satisfies both Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and applicable legal requirements. The Certificate is valid for one year. The Government Finance Officers Association is a nonprofit professional organization serving more than 20,500 government finance professionals across the United States and Canada.

FEBRUARY 2022 CITY NEWSLETTER By Mayor Marcus Stevenson

unteer opportunities where residents will be able to help guide the council on critical issues and represent resident voices to Midvale City. You can learn more about the community council at Facebook.com/MidvaleCommunityCouncil. The Midvale Arts Council works to create a sense of community pride and hope by showcasing local talent, providing free public concerts and discounted theatrical productions. Thanks to the arts council, Midvale residents have had more opportunities for free concerts, Main Street events, and much, much more. You can learn more about the arts council at midvalearts.com Midvale City Harvest Days is fast approaching and there is always a need for residents to get involved and help shape this staple of our community. Whether it be hosting a neighborhood block party to kick off the festivities, helping to staff the parade, or volunteering at the actual festival, Harvest Days is where our residents come together to celebrate our incredible community. With initial planning still underway, the city will begin reaching out for volunteers soon. The Midvale Historical Society & Museum may be the perfect place for you to volunteer if you’re interested in collecting, preserving, and educating residents about the rich history of Midvale. To learn more about how to get involved you can visit Facebook.com/MidvaleMuseum. These opportunities may not be for everyone, so if you’re looking for something different, consider spending some time with the Road Home where you can directly lend a hand to families in need or the Boys & Girls Club where you can help kids learn and develop critical life skills. Now, I’m not the type of person to ask you to do a job that I’m not willing to do myself, so I can’t wait to meet you as we are both involved in these wonderful organizations that call Midvale home.

In The Middle of Everything Midvale Arts Council: Marking 25 Years Of Art A HISTORY DRAPED IN PLAID The Midvale Arts Council is happy to see the Midvale Performing Arts Center (including the newly named JoAnn B. Seghini Hall) ready to bring joy and arts to the public again. The MAC will be producing its first show in over a year and a half with the upcoming production of the audience favorite, “Forever Plaid”. This production will run March 4-12 and is a delightfully goofy nostalgia trip through the 1950’s as a quartet, killed in a car crash, reunite back on earth to perform the show they never got to do in real life. It’s a musical revue full of wonderful songs and big laughs. What makes “Forever Plaid” particularly special to the Midvale Arts Council is that it was also the very first show that was officially put on by the organization back in 1997, 25 years ago! Suzanne Walker directed the show and had to adapt to some unique circumstances. Back then, the Arts Council didn’t have a dedicated performance space, so the musical was performed in the city council chambers of the old city hall – now torn down. Cast member, and MAC President, Wade Walker remembers the show fondly. “It was great to finally be able to do a show as an arts council,” he said. “Even if the ‘dressing room’ was just the little pantry behind the council room.” In that first show Wade performed with Bruce Craven, Steve Duke and Cody Sims. And he must really like the show because 25 years later he is back for more. The new production will again have Wade Walker, but this time he will be joined by Jourdan Dixon, Shawn Timothy, and Wade’s brother, Kevin Walker. Dixon is also the musical director for the show, and he and Timothy are part of the improv comedy troupe, Quick Wits, which also performs at the Midvale Performing Arts Center. More information on “Forever Plaid” and all of the other shows that will be coming to the MPAC can be found at www.midvalearts.com.


Ride UTA for Free in February In an effort led by Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendendall, and supported by numerous local governments, partner government agencies and private businesses, UTA fares will be free during the month of February! Fares will be free in February across our entire service area on all UTA bus and rail services, including Ski Bus, paratransit service, the Park City-SLC Connect, and UTA On Demand in southwestern Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City - Westside. For more see rideuta.com/freefare.

Get Your Pet Ready for a New Year Salt Lake County Animal Services Did you get a pet this holiday season? Or did vaccinating or licensing your pet in 2021 slip your mind? Here’s a few things to get your pet ready for the new year. 1. VACCINATE: Make sure they are up to date on vaccinations. Pet illnesses and diseases are preventable if you vaccinate your pet. Veterinary visits are often booked out, so call and make an appointment right away. 2. MICROCHIP: At Salt Lake County Animal Services, any pet in Salt Lake County with a current pet license can receive a FREE microchip with proof of license. You can walk in with your pet during our open hours for this service, no appointment necessary. Microchipping is one of the best ways to get an animal back to their owner as quick as possible. Questions? Email animal@slco.org. 3. LICENSE: By Utah state law, pet owners must license a pet by the time they are five months of age or within 30 days of moving into an area or acquiring the pet. Find out more about licensing on our website. Salt Lake County Animal Services is located at 511 W 3900 S, SLC. The shelter is open Tues-Sat, 10 AM6PM. Visit AdoptUtahPets.org for more information.

Scoop the Poop Dog and cat waste left on the ground is more than smelly and unsightly….it pollutes our water and poses a health risk for pets and people, especially children! Please remember to always Scoop the Poop and to dispose of pet waste properly! Human and Pet Health • Giardia • Roundworms • Salmonella • Other viruses and parasites Water Quality • Overgrowth of algae and aquatic weeds • Reduced oxygen for fish What Can You Do? • Bring It! Carry a scooper bag when you walk your dog. • Scoop It! Use the baggie like a glove, scoop the poop, invert and seal the bag. • Toss It! It belongs in the trash. • Place a Sign! Put a “Scoop the Poop” sign in your yard to encourage your neighbors to scoop it up too! We even created a fun sign for you to print at home. Visit www.MidvaleCity.org/Scoop to download the sign.


Send Love to Seniors This Valentine’s Day For most people, Valentine’s Day represents a time to celebrate love with romantic partners, friends, and family. But for some – especially older adults – many feel lonely around the holiday. To combat loneliness this Valentine’s Day, Midvale City is asking the community to send handwritten cards to City Hall. We will share the cards with local seniors on Valentine’s Day. Take a few minutes, sit down, and write a letter to a senior. Tell them about yourself, maybe say a joke or a riddle and let them know that they are loved. It might feel difficult at first to be writing to someone you don’t know. Our advice: just pretend like it’s a conversation!

GUIDELINES: 1. Letters must be legible (large print) and handwritten. No worries if you’re not artistic– make your card as what you’d like to receive. 2. Exclude the date (day, month, and year). Do not reference COVID, isolation, or quarantine– focus your letter on making the recipient feel good. 3. Embrace creativity! Recipients love it when the letters are personal. We encourage you to make your letters colorful and fun—photos, crosswords, and drawings are great! 4. Be kind & thoughtful. This is a one-way letter exchange, so you will not receive a letter back. Receiving nothing in return is part of the beauty of your act of kindness, and recipients aren’t burdened by feeling obligated or unable to respond. 5. Ready to mail? Yay! Mail by February 10th to: Laura Magness Midvale City 7505 S Holden Street Midvale, UT 84065 Thank you for supporting our seniors!

Property Tax FAQ’s How is my Midvale City Property Tax Rate Calculated? The Salt Lake County Auditor calculates what is called a “Certified Tax Rate” each year for each entity. The tax rate formula is designed to give Midvale City the same amount of property tax revenue received in the prior year, plus any new growth that happened in the City (such as new homes, businesses, etc.). This rate is then multiplied by the assessed taxable value for every property within Midvale. Keep in mind that most homeowners receive a 45% reduction in assessed value for their primary residence. This formula DOES NOT give the City any automatic increases, outside of new growth within the City (for example, no inflationary increases are built into the formula). Don’t my Property Taxes go up When the Value of my Home Goes up? Because the City receives the same amount of revenue as the prior year, plus new growth, the property tax rate actually goes DOWN when the value of a home goes up. Conversely, if a property’s value goes down, the tax rate goes UP to give the same amount of revenue. If the Property Tax Rate is Supposed to Give “Neutral” Revenue, Why Did my Property Tax Bill Go Up? There are a number of reasons why the amount of property taxes paid may fluctuate. Here are a few of the most common: 1. A taxing entity has raised their property tax rate – State law allows a taxing entity to raise their property tax rate by going through a process called “Truth in Taxation.” This process involves a series of mandated steps, including public noticing and a public hearing. If approved by

the governing body, the tax rate is increased beyond what the “Certified Tax Rate” calculates. 2. Individual properties are appreciating faster than average – Because the Certified Tax Rate relies on entity-wide averages to calculate the tax rate, it is possible individual properties will appreciate faster than average. Because of this, certain properties will show an increase (while others will show a decrease). 3. Improvements have been made to the property – Substantial improvements (such as an addition to a home) constitute “new growth” and would be added to the base property tax amount. What is Property Tax Revenue Used For? Midvale City only receives 8%, or $184, of property tax each year on an average residence. Conversely, 55% of property tax revenue, or $1,301, goes to the Canyons School District. Overall, Midvale City receives approximately $2.7 million from property tax. The City’s total General Fund budget totals approximately $21 million. Property tax is devoted to pay for Police services provided by the Unified Police Department (UPD). As a point of reference, the City’s UPD contract amount is $10.2 million a year. Who Can I Contact with Additional Questions? Questions about the assessed value of your property should be directed to the Salt Lake County Assessor’s Office at (385) 468-8000. Questions about paying your property taxes should be addressed to the Salt Lake County Treasurer’s Office at (385) 468-8300. If you have a question about Midvale City’s property tax rate, or what property taxes are used for, please contact Kyle Maurer, Assistant City Manager, at (801) 567-7200.

Protecting Groundwater We work every day to ensure our customers can turn on a tap or take a shower with no worries about the purity of their water. In keeping with federal, state, and our own agency rules and guidelines, our Water Division team strives to protect our water supplies, our water quality and safety and to deliver this life-giving resource. In order to maintain clean, high-quality water, we must all work together to protect the groundwater source. Water that is pumped from wells flows through a groundwater aquifer that is located beneath this area before reaching the well. Because the soils between the ground surface and the aquifer are porous, any contaminants that are discharged on the ground have the potential to seep into the groundwater aquifer and eventually contaminate the water in the well. This could in turn compromise the health of the people drinking the water. Fortunately, there is something that we all can do to protect our groundwater. There are two fundamental categories of groundwater protection: Keeping it safe from contamination and using it wisely by not wasting it. For more information, visit www.ngwa.org

Hillcrest softball players gear up for spring season under new head coach By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


hen Hillcrest High softball players hung up their bats and gloves at the end of last season, their only winning season in the last dozen years with a 12-9 record, little did they realize their head coach Ashley Anjewierden wasn’t returning. Anjewierden resigned this past fall to devote her time and energy to teaching her students at Mt. Jordan Middle School and providing them the support they need academically and emotionally during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’ll miss my athletes, but I will always

Page 16 | February 2022

be their greatest supporter,” she said. After one year as head coach and five as assistant coach, Anjewierden turned the team over to her assistant, Anthony Ricci. “Coach Ricci has a lot of knowledge about softball. He’s a great guy with a great heart for the game,” she said. Ricci paid the compliment back: “I thought Ashley did an awesome job last year and she allowed me to help with a lot of feedback. I learned from her on how to coach a high school team. As the assistant, coming into this role, the girls, they know me, and

they know what type of coach I am. As a head coach, it’s my job to build the trust in the student-athletes. When I make bad decisions, I’ll own up to it, and if they make a mistake, I expect they’ll own up to it and we move to the next play. It’s not something that we concentrate on. There’s a column for errors for a reason. Everybody makes them; it’s going to happen. It’s what we do after that error that makes us successful.” Ricci, who is a behavioral health assistant at Diamond Ridge Youth Academy, said he already has held open gyms and Saturday softball clinics for the Hillcrest players. “We’re getting in the reps and drills that they need to just to get better,” he said. “I am a big proponent of basic drills and working in progression. So, we work a lot on defense, we work a lot of bucket drills where I’m sitting on a bucket rolling balls and we’ll do down the middle backhand, forehand, with bare hands then with a black glove then we will progress using our regular gloves then to making the throw. Then, we’ll hit to them and make the throw and we can do the same thing in the outfield where we do drop step angles and we’ll do drop step left, drop step right, straight drop steps. Then we will bring them together and run scenarios, so we know how many outs, where’s our runners, what plays are going to be successful for us if the balls are hit in certain situations. We’re preparing the student-athletes to be pitch ready.” It’s something that the Huskies practiced last year. “Last year, Hillcrest had its best showing as far as ranking at the end of the season, so I’d like to continue that. We didn’t lose very many starters for varsity so we’re still able to compete at that level,” he said of the five players who graduated and six current seniors he expects on the team. Hillcrest had four girls played club ball, and Ricci coaches the Utah Freaks club softball team, so he is looking forward to those returnees sharing their experiences and perspectives with their teammates, some returning for another season and some who may be new to the sport. “We take students that are at the school regardless if they’ve never thrown a ball or if they’ve played for five years. We coach them to be able to compete at a high school level,” he said. “A lot of our students are multi-sport athletes and so they recruit their friends. I think my coaching style—I try to build them up and focus on the good things, focus on the strong things, and then we can identify and work on weaknesses as a team— is being calm and positive and that results in athletes saying, he’s a pretty cool coach. We have some new athletes who are coming to our open gyms who are very athletic, and they’ll catch on quickly. I want the best out of each student-athlete and want to build those relationships, having conversations that may

Anthony Ricci stepped into the head softball coaching position at Hillcrest High after serving as an assistant coach last year. (Photo courtesy of Anthony Ricci)

not be softball related, but that are going to let them know I care about them, their schooling and what is going on and if they’re struggling, we’ll work to figure it out. Then, with that trust, they’re willing to give as much as they can on the softball field.” Senior Amanda Desjardins, who played outfield on the JV squad last year, said coach Ricci helped her out in her first year playing softball. “He helped me truly understand the game when I didn’t have a clue what was going on,” she said. “He’s also energetic and wants to see everyone succeed.” Tryouts for the team are held Feb. 28, with the first game scheduled for March 7 against Corner Canyon High at nearby Union Park since the softball field at the school has yet to be installed. The team has a tournament scheduled in mid-March in St. George, returning a day before playing their first region game in Tooele on March 22. This season, Ricci is OK with being a part of the new 5A region 7 that stretches from Tooele to Vernal. “I’m focused on wanting to know that my girls are competing at the highest level that they can compete at—that I’m getting the best athlete out of them. At the end of the day, runs don’t matter if I have all my athlete give 100% on the field,” he said. “I feel like these bus rides, it’s the time that student-athletes get to bond and enjoy each other outside of softball. Once they’re on the field, we’re ready to play and focus only on softball, but it’s off the field when memories are made and that’s what they’ll remember—a funny joke on the bus or whatever. It’s those relationships and memories that they’ll remember, not the score of the last game.” l

Midvale City Journal

Brick by brick, Hillcrest students learn first-hand about global supply chain


illcrest High entrepreneurship students recently experienced a hands-on lesson in understanding global supply chain management, thanks to Brigham Young University Associate Professor Scott Webb. As part of the global supply game, Webb set up nine tables for students as part of the supply chain and used small plastic bricks to indicate the supply. Then, students took roles at the tables, trying to get supplies to manufacture products to retailers to sell products to consumers. “They were trying to get supplies from Botswana, Zambia and South Africa or from Europe such as Greece and Belgium, to sell as raw materials at one table and then, they would turn it around to a manufacturer, which was another table in the supply chain,” said the students’ teacher Nick Pappas. “Then, there was a table in the supply chain that represented distributors who then sold it to the retailers, and they in turn, sold it to the customers. We had a shipping team that worked individually, just trying to move product and there were retailers who would buy the finished product from the distributors and sell it to the rest of the class, or to the customers.” Pappas said students learned the process using brightly colored bricks—including red and blue. “He called the red bricks, Utes, which was a less premium product, and the blue, or the premium bricks, for the Cougars,” Pappas said, indicating Webb’s humor with his allegiance. Students would create a combination of brick colors they needed, but they were limited to 25 bricks. “They negotiated the amount to ship their product and then another person would then sell that product to the warehouse who assembles it. So, they would pay for the product, and they’d always have to pay the shipping company to ship it to their table,” he said. “Then, they’d sell it to the distributor or wholesaler who would have to pay the factory or warehouse for the product and pay for shipping. They’d also negotiate with the retailer as there were two supply chains and retailers who were trying to get the best price on the product.” Customers started with $1,000 in pretend cash and received a certain amount of points for how much product they purchased during the 35-minute game. “Any inventory carry over, it cost them and it would be deducted from their points. We had winners for each group—so supply chain total, the shippers who had the most money, the retailers who had the most money and whoever cashed in the most points as a customer,” he said. “They were trying to buy as much product at the lowest price and then, they’d cash in for points.” The game gave students a visual and hands-on learning opportunity to understand global supply chains and they made the con-


By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com nection to the real world, Pappas said. “We’ve talked about supply chain crisis with COVID-19,” he said, adding that students have experienced it indirectly with delays in construction at Hillcrest High and likely, with items unavailable for purchase. “They realize that a lot of factories shut down because of COIVD, and that was really harmful to the supply chain because products were not being produced. Now, they can see it’s not going to get better anytime soon with the shipping container shortage.” He said that fact came into play with the game as some product got bottlenecked and discrepancies came along in groups’ tracking their expenses. “We had one of our retailers actually down like $60 and another one was $160 in the positive, or something like that, so it was good to see what’s frustrating in the supply chain and how you get them moving smoothly,” he said. “Just like that experience with the game, and what we all are experiencing now during COVID, there’s so many moving parts to any product in the supply chain that we’re all seeing it come into play.” Webb came to Hillcrest at the invitation of the school’s career and technical education coordinator Kevin Wood, who ran across a paper Webb wrote, describing the game he uses

Through a game, Brigham Young University Associate Professor Scott Webb taught Hillcrest High entrepreneurship students to understand global supply chains and management. (Cher Burbank/Hillcrest High)

to teach supply chain management. “We’re starting a new transportation pathway next year, so I was doing some research and universities that teach it, trying to find ways to prepare our students,” he said. “When I realized this article was by a BYU professor, I emailed him, and he came to show it to us and have our students run through it. I

think this took on more meaning as most of us haven’t heard the term supply chain until recently in the news. One student even commented on how they didn’t realize how many steps there were until they were able to take an active role in it through this game.” l

February 2022 | Page 17

Newly appointed Hillcrest boys’ tennis coach to teach fundamentals, build program’s foundation By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


rian Yu began playing tennis in middle school, after watching his brother compete at Hillcrest High. Now as a junior, he is one of two returning varsity players for the Huskies. “We graduated eight seniors, so pretty much all our varsity team,” he said. “Aarav Parikh, who was a freshman last year, is pretty good and plays club; he will likely be our No. 1 singles player.” Yu played doubles last year, but since his partner graduated, he will be looking for another or may try singles. Whichever he plays, Yu has a goal in mind: consistency. “I’m feeling more comfortable playing this year, and I’ve played some games with (last year’s) seniors and at the sports mall to keep my skills up, but I’m being more focused and needing to be more consistent,” he said. Yu is also a bit uncertain of what his squad will look like as tryouts aren’t held until late February. He’s also unsure which schools will be the most competitive as the team is now in 5A region 7 that stretches from Tooele to Vernal, and he has yet to meet his new coach, Tui Satuala. “I heard he’s really nice and teaches at the school,” Yu said about the social studies teacher who is in his second-year teaching at Hillcrest. “The thing I really like about tennis is the people. Even though everyone is competing, they’re super nice. I’m going to miss our former coach and all the traditions we had in place, like going to Buffalo Wild Wings after winning a big match.” Hillcrest’s longtime coach, Robert James, stepped down with the announcement of the new region, stating he was unable to travel on the bus those distances because of health reasons. Those bus rides to away matches will extend from an hour west and an hour south to more than three hours east. Yu said he will use that time to “sleep and do homework.” James gave Satuala a book of drills

and James’ former assistants, Creighton and Chris Chun, who coached the girls team this fall, gave the new coach some pointers. “I helped out a little during the girls’ season, and I was really grateful to have worked with the Chuns,” Satuala said. “They do such a fantastic job of developing players and teaching them how to hit and all those fundamental skills like serving and volleying. Then, building the game, the Xs and Os: how to win the point, how to win the match against your opponents; and implementing some mental games as well. I’m hoping they’ll help as they can with the boys this spring.” Looking at the new region, Satuala foresees the strong teams being the same as in girls’ tennis. “It’s going to be similar where Uintah was really strong and there might be some other good teams, but I don’t think it will be as tough of a region that we were in before with Brighton and all the east side schools,” he said. “Obviously, you never want to underestimate your opponents in the region, but I think it will be good for where our players are, and that we’ll have a lot of new players, so it will be a good competitive region for them.” The Huskies will open their season against Taylorsville in early March. Satuala is making arrangements to find “home” courts while Hillcrest High has yet to finish the final phase of construction—the playing fields and courts. He looks forward to the days when the new courts will be in place to benefit current students and those coming into the program he hopes to develop over the next few years. Before the season begins, Satuala wants his team to practice serves and fundamentals in the school’s field house and hit the weight room “just to work on some of the movements and muscles we’ll be using in tennis.” Some of those skills are the same ones Satuala learned from his dad.

“My parents are Tongan and tennis is actually a big part of the culture there. A lot of church meeting houses have a tennis court outside, so it became a social and cultural thing. I remember going to play with my dad and all his Tongan friends. He taught us how to play, but I wasn’t an amazing player. I played junior varsity and a little bit of varsity in high school,” he said. Although Satuala played tennis, it was football that was his love. He went on to play football at Weber State University and then, grew into coaching. He has coached football

alongside Hillcrest’s head coach Brock Bryant and also helped at Bountiful High as well as boys’ tennis at Cyprus High. “I love coaching. I just love seeing the growth that athletes make over a season and while you’re working with them, it’s just fun to see them build that confidence in themselves and to see that growth happen as they put in practice,” Satuala said. “Coaching is mentoring and building relationships; I love giving kids the knowledge and experience I have and helping them improve.” l


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Page 18 | February 2022

Hillcrest High named its new boys’ tennis coach, Tui Satuala (center), who is seen alongside girls’ tennis coaches Chris Chun (left) and Creighton Chun. (Photo courtesy of Tui Satuala/Hillcrest High)

Midvale City Journal

Long-time coming: Hillcrest grapplers grab Battle of the Axe By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


he day before the dual meet versus Brighton High, which marked the 53rd Battle of the Axe, former coach Don Neff delivered a message to the Hillcrest High Huskies. He told the wrestlers to “fight hard.” Neff left coaching a winning program at Brighton to lead Hillcrest “with one goal— to win the Axe,” said current Hillcrest coach Nick Pappas. “He lost only five dual meets and all five were to Brighton. He finally got them.” The Huskies followed the former coach’s advice, battling hard to take the Axe, 39-35. It was their fourth Axe win: 1985, under Neff, then in 1991, and the last one came 24 years ago in 1998. Husky wrestlers Ezekiel Zimmerman, Wesley Tello, Ethan Lignell and Isaiah Rayco all pinned their opponents. Junior Wyatt Manning took control of his match, winning by six points. On the girls’ team, Hailey Pedersen and Briona Love pinned their opponents, however before the dual began Pappas and Brighton head coach Mason Brinkman agreed not to include the girls’ score in the Battle of the Axe, but to leave its tradition with the boys. The girls team also won as well as the JV squad, earning the right of the three-yearold “Battle of the Hachet” traveling JV trophy, making it a sweep for the Huskies. The Battle of the Axe began when Neff coached Brighton in 1969 and met with former Hillcrest coach Tex Castro to create a friendly competition. As a result, fans packed the stands for the annual match-up, generating excitement and support for the teams. Instead of engraving a trophy, the winning team gets to paint a two-inch section of the handle of the Axe—or one of the five handles. Two days after the 2022 meet, the Huskies one by one painted it green with senior Sam McDonough painting the first stripe. “I didn’t realize it was such a big deal,” Pappas said earlier in his coaching career at Hillcrest. Now, four years in, his name will be remembered as one of the few Hillcrest coaches who helped his team win the coveted Axe. “Every team wants to win it. It’s a dream for them all,” he said. He had wrestled at Taylorsville High where there wasn’t a 50-plus year competition with traveling trophy. Pappas, who said that he only has a few wrestlers on the team who have more than three years’ experience, said his team has set high standards this season. “This team has practiced harder, had more focus and really bought in to the technique we are teaching. Two years ago, we came close, and they wanted to seal the deal this time,” he said. “The kids are coachable,


Hillcrest High’s boys varsity, boys JV and girls wrestling teams swept Brighton High in this season’s 53rd annual dual meet, which may be the longest ongoing annual rivalry in Utah high school sports. (Brenda McCann/Hillcrest High)

they hold each other accountable, and they knew how special this opportunity was. It’s awesome that they get to see their hard work pay off.” Sophomore Cooper Limb, who won by a technical fall—15 points more than his opponent—said that he grew up wrestling, but he sat out a couple years right before high school. Pappas helped him rediscover his love of the sport. “It’s pretty special to be the team that broke the streak; there have only been four Hillcrest teams that have won it,” he said. “It was super intense; a ton of people were there. It was so much fun and now we want to win it back-to-back.” Brighton’s Brinkman gave full credit to Hillcrest. “I congratulate coach Pappas and his wrestling team on the well-deserved victory,” he said. “We’ve had some close victories, but this time, we ended up on the wrong side.” A recent memorably close match was the 50th Battle of the Axe in 2019, coming down to Bengal heavyweight Tyler Knaak winning the final match to give Brighton the edge, 34-33.

Hillcrest senior Sam McDonough paints the first green stripe on the coveted Battle of the Axe traveling trophy, marking the fourth time in 53 years, the Huskies have won. (Julie Slama/ City Journals)

Brinkman also thanked the alumni, parents, students and spectators that came out to support the teams, saying there was much anticipation for the dual since it wasn’t held last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re a young team, so we can use this as motivation,” he said of his Bengals. Region is in early February, followed by state mid-month. At the dual, former Brighton coach Dave Chavis paid tribute, memorializing Bengal long-time supporter Kevin Davis,

who died in December. He had three sons who wrestled, and his wife Dee Dee, who used to emcee matches, returned to the microphone for this dual. As a competition of 53 years, Brighton High Legacy Committee Chair Jerry Christensen, who wrestled and was an assistant coach from 2011-21, said that the Battle of the Axe may be the longest ongoing annual rivalry in Utah high school sports. l

February 2022 | Page 19

Want cleaner air? Get rid of that old wood-burning stove By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com


lean air has become an increasingly important issue for Utahns. It impacts the state’s collective health, its environment, even its economy. There are many different methods by which Utah can work towards cleaner air—both on the individual and institution level—and one of those is by getting rid of old wood-burning stoves. Thom Carter, energy advisor to Gov. Spencer Cox wrote about the danger of these stoves in a guest post on the Department of Environmental Quality’s website. “Wood-burning stoves are a significant source of air pollution—pollution that negatively impacts individuals’ personal health and the environment,” he wrote. “Particles that make up the smoke and soot from wood-burning stoves can cause breathing difficulties and sometimes permanent lung damage for those who inhale the smoke. Especially during the cold winter months, smoke from wood-burning stoves gets trapped with other air pollutants resulting in health-threatening inversions. In fact, wood-burning stoves can cause a mini-inversion within neighborhoods.” To help people get rid of their old

wood-burning stoves, the DEQ has created an assistance program that incentivizes homeowners to upgrade to cleaner heating devices. Applicants can receive anywhere from $500 to $3,800 to help pay for the cost of making the change. There are a few qualifications for homeowners wanting to take advantage of the program. For example, the stove must be actively used for a “significant amount of home heating” in order to qualify. (So you can’t use the program to get rid of that stove in the basement that’s only gathered dust for the last 20 years.) The program also can’t be used for remodeling work or on rental or commercial properties. To learn more about the program and see if your home qualifies, you can visit stoves.utah.gov. l

A new program from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality is urging Utahns to upgrade from their old wood-burning stoves.

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Midvale City Journal

Unified soccer gives Hartman a place to shine By Julie Slama | j.slama@mycityjournals.com


his spring will mark two years since Hillcrest High School graduate Jaden Hartman tried out for Real Salt Lake Unified team and he has yet to play another Major Soccer League unified team. “Our games haven’t happened because of COVID-19,” Hartman said. Whether this season will happen will depend on the pandemic, said RSL Unified coach Jenna Holland. “We’re moving forward preparing, but we’re following the MLS and Special Olympic guidelines because these players with special abilities are more vulnerable,” she said. “A lot of our practices and games will depend on COVID and the weather.” The RSL Unified Team is part of Unified Sports and the Special Olympics and participates in the Major League Soccer Unified Exchange program. In addition to local comp teams, RSL Unified took the field against RSL Unified Alumni Sept. 4, where Hartman’s team beat the alumni 4-3. “I was made captain that day, so I was a little nervous,” he said. “But I played OK.” After the game, he signed his own trading cards, the first being given to his nephew. He also signed one for his high school coach, Shannon Hurst, and provided one for the school athletic director Scott Carrell to showcase at Hillcrest. Hartman started playing soccer as a Hillcrest freshman after being cut from the baseball team. “I made a bet with my buddy that if I didn’t make the baseball team I’d try unified soccer,” he remembered. “Nobody really knew I could play soccer, so in the first game, I took the ball, went down the field and hit a goal. Everyone was looking at me and I said, ‘What?’ They told me nobody had done that before. They didn’t know I could do that, neither did me. I realized, ‘I’m good at this.’” It was the summer after his freshman year he went to Seattle as part of Team Utah that played in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. “I thought at first they were joking about us going to Seattle; I wasn’t at school the day they talked to us about it,” he said, excited to learn he’d be returning to his home state where he still has family and friends. “The gold medal game is one of the biggest games that I’ve played in. We won the gold, and we were in all the newspapers.” He still sees that medal every day in his room. “It’s my favorite medal of all of the ones we’ve won,” he said, not mentioning he scored in that game. “It was a lot of discipline and hard work with that one, but it was a lot of fun.” Hurst said that trip was pivotal for Hartman. “With that opportunity to go to Seattle, it really lit a fire in him. It was a pretty sweet ex-


perience. I believe it’s something that he will remember and cherish for a while,” she said. Hillcrest athletic director Scott Carrell also joined the team on the trip. “Jaden was always trying to make jokes, but you can count on him for always being very competitive,” he said. “He’s there to help people as well as help the team to get a win because he wants the win. One of my favorite moments from Seattle is when we had a girl (Aubree Cooper) score her first goal and Jaden and Tanner (Cluff, who at 6-foot-8 plays on the RSL Unified alumni team) both went over and gave her big hugs because they were so excited for her. Here they were, these big guys and she was so tiny in comparison.” While at Hillcrest, Hartman dominated a number of high school unified games, scoring hat tricks in nearly every game. He estimates he has scored “at least 200 goals” in his high school career and was captain three years. “Ms. Hurst helped me a lot,” he said. “She would tell me to take the time to set up a shot or to not go too fast down the field for my teammates. She’d tell me to go easy sometimes if we were up so many points and other team didn’t have any or she’d put me in goal. I really miss helping my teammates get goals and if the game comes down to it, me hitting the winning goal or helping them hit it.” Hurst said that Hartman has a lot of natural talent and a love of sports. “That helps with his motivation to learn and having things in common with his peers,” she said. “We’d tell him to trap the ball or maybe tweak where he was passing, but he was good. He understood and he’s like a sponge; he’s very good with picking things up and learning. He has a lot of intensity and sometimes I’d have to tell him to tone it down because we were running up the score and in unified sports that’s not what you want to do. One thing with Jaden, he liked his teammates, and he was more than willing to help bring up those athletes who were at a bit of a lower level.” Hartman said his coach also helped him off the field as well as on the basketball court. “At school, I was getting bullied. I felt trapped so she helped me through that,” he said. “I was in her class and that was good. I played unified basketball and won two state titles before COVID hit and she coached that too.” Hurst said that Hartman excelled at basketball too. “Jaden’s just hungry and wants to do well. I think his love of the game fuels him and he has that desire. He’s very eager to learn and is very coachable,” she said. “Most of Hillcrest students understand and support these kids who have disabilities and their playing, but there’s always that 5 or 10% that don’t give a crap about people’s lives and feelings so I’m glad I could help him out. We put a lot of time and energy into the program.” Carrell said that Hartman’s experience

After Hillcrest High’s unified team scored against Tooele High in the final Salt Lake regional tournament game in May 2021, Hillcrest’s then peer partner Max Lapore (32) celebrates with his then teammate, Jaden Hartman (28). (Julie Slama/City Journals)

with unified sports taught him communication and teamwork skills. “He also created a lot of friendships with people. He came by during a football game this year and said hi to just about everyone,” he said. “Special Olympics offers a lot more for kids to compete and learn they’re just as important as anyone else.” Hartman’s teammate senior year was former Hillcrest student body president, Max Lapore; through unified sports, the two became friends. “Jaden was one of the most passionate players and people,” he said. “Everything he did, he put 100% of himself into. I loved going on the field with him because it was amazing to see someone who would never fail to do something to the best of his ability.” Although Hillcrest has had a pipeline of players going to RSL Unified—Cluff, Boston Iacobazzi, Maison Anderson, Addie Morley— Hartman said he first learned about the team his freshman year after RSL coach Bryan Karren approached him after a game. “He said, ‘I’m one of the coaches on Real Unified and we really want you on the team,’” he said. Hartman tried out in spring 2020 as a high school junior. “We did drills, and we played a game where I made some really good plays,” he said about the two-day tryouts. “I got the call. I made the team, and I was pretty happy.” Hartman remembers receiving his uniform—No. 4. “When I needed to sign a contract deal, I knew I was really a professional athlete,” he said. Now, Hartman joins his RSL teammates on the practice field in Sandy, Herriman or at the Rio Tinto Stadium a couple times per week during the season where they’ll run through drills and scrimmages. He often will lift weights or run on his own. “I like Jaden’s attitude,” coach Holland

said. “He’s so enthusiastic about everything. He’s definitely outgoing; everyone loves him. He’s excited to get on a field, he’s excited to be part of the community outreach. He just does not hold back. I’ve seen him grow from those practices in 2020 to now. His skills have improved, and his confidence has increased. When he’s out there, he’s amongst the best of them. He competes and holds his own.” Hartman said he’s learned how much power he should have and ball placement. “I learned where you put the ball and where you should hit it and how hard so the goalie can’t grab the ball so you can get a goal,” he said. “I have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) so sometimes learning the plays can be hard, but going over and over them helps.” RSL Unified has provided outreach to the community, from parades to most recently helping on the fields and keeping score for the high school unified championships at Rio Tinto Stadium in October. Since the team didn’t have a competitive season in 2020 or 2021, the players’ two-year contracts were extended, Holland said. “We want our players to be able to experience travel with the team and play in stadiums in front of people. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for them,” she said. Hartman is hoping this season will bring about new opportunities, including to travel with the team and meet new people—and to score goals. He has yet to score his first goal for RSL Unified and hopes that will come this spring. “I still like scoring goals when I have the chance,” said the former forward, now a midfielder, a position he also enjoys. Hartman is uncertain of what his future may bring, perhaps more professional or college unified soccer, but he does know one thing: “I definitely want to keep playing. It’s fun.” l

February 2022 | Page 21

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ebruary is American Heart Month, a time to focus on our cardiovascular health. While paper and chocolate hearts abound, February also raises awareness for the health of our beating hearts, the life-sustaining organ that pumps oxygen throughout our bodies. Paula Nielson-Williams is the recreation manager and 29-year veteran of Salt Lake Community College’s Exercise Science department. “Exercise is good for heart health,” Nielson-Williams said. “American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 minutes a day of moderate-vigorous exercise or an hour a day of moderate exercise. So get out walking, lift some weights, or play with your kids.” According to the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and is responsible for 16% of the world’s total deaths. WHO said, “Since 2000, the largest increase in deaths has been from this disease, rising by more than 2 million to 8.9 million deaths in 2019.” (Source: www. who.int). While heart disease has typically afflicted older adults, heart attacks have increased in younger people under the age of 40, with a steady rise in patients between 20 - 30 years old. The Cardio Metabolic Institute said, “It was rare for anyone younger than 40 to have a heart attack. Now 1 in 5 heart attack patients are younger than 40 years of age. Here’s another troubling fact to highlight the problem: Having a heart attack in your 20s or early 30s is more common. Between the years 2000-2016, the heart attack rate increased by 2% every year in this young age group.” Reasons for this steady rise among younger people are increasing risk factors affecting this age group such as diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), obesity, smoking and vaping, and substance abuse. While lifestyle changes such as proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and avoiding substance abuse can significantly mitigate heart disease risk factors, regular exercise is a very effective method for combating heart disease. Johns Hopkins exercise physiologist Kerry J. Stewart, Ed.D, said, “Aerobic exercise and resistance training are the most important for heart health. Although flexibility doesn’t contribute directly to heart health, it’s nevertheless important because it provides a good foundation for performing aerobic and strength exercises more effectively.” For aerobic or cardiovascular exercise, measuring one’s heart rate is standard to ensure one works out within the prescribed heart rate zones for optimal benefits. Heart rate training zones are a percentage of your maximum heart rate or heartbeats per minute. With the emergence of smartwatches and other devices, people can monitor their heart rate in real-time and adjust their exercise intensity. These devices

67-year old Nancy Webster from Riverton uses her smartwatch to monitor her water aerobics workouts where she typically burns over 600 calories. (Karmel Harper/City Journals)

incorporate personal biometrics such as age, gender and weight and calculate individualized heart rate training zones. To find your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, a 25-year-old’s maximum heart rate is 195 heartbeats (bpm) per minute (220-25=195), and a 65-year-old’s maximum heart rate is 155 bpm. From this calculation, heart rate zones are established (see photo). The number of zones can vary based on the device’s monitoring system, but a popular standard is five zones: 1.The warm-up or Healthy Heart zone is 50% - 60% of your max heart rate (Mhr). 2.The fat burn or Weight Management zone is 50% - 70% of your Mhr. 3.The cardio or Aerobic zone is 70% 80% of your Mhr. 4.The intense or Anaerobic zone is 80% 90% of your Mhr. 5.The maximum or Red Line zone is 90% - 100% of your Mhr. However, this simple equation, which only uses the single metric of age, does not consider whether the individual is a seasoned triathlete or an unconditioned sedentary desk worker. Doctors typically advise those with heart conditions on their heart rate zone ceilings. As exercising in Zone 5 or higher puts significant strain on your heart, more fit individuals can reach this level for short bouts. Therefore, monitoring heart rate over time during exercise bouts to see improvement trends is practical. Even if you don’t exercise regularly, those with heart conditions can use a smartwatch to monitor their heart throughout the day. Kaysville’s Scot Vore said, “I use my smartwatch to monitor my steps and my heart for Afib.” l

Midvale City Journal

Sometimes it is rocket science


hree things could doom our country: domestic terrorism, Olivia Rodrigo and the rejection of science. The first two are obvious, but rejecting science? When did scientists become the bad guys? As more people deny mainstream science, I think about the good, old Russian pseudoscientist Trofim Lysenko. (You can call him Tro.) He and Joseph Stalin were BFFs after Tro convinced Stalin he could “educate” crops to grow using his “law of the life of species” theory which included planting seeds close together and soaking plants in freezing water. Stalin embraced this nonsense and seven million Russians died from starvation when the country ran out of food, because Tro (you can call him The Idiot) convinced Stalin that science-based agricultural practices were garbage. There’s lots of science I don’t understand, like quantum mechanics, curved spacetime and string theory, which proves kittens will play with a ball of yarn indefinitely. But I don’t have to understand science because, and here’s a key point, I am not a scientist. I’m saying this louder for those in the back: science shouldn’t be a partisan issue. But here we are. Anti-science is on the rise and people (i.e., non-scientists) are putting their own batty (often dangerous) theories


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out in the universe, much like Tro the Idiot. More than 2,000 years ago, Aristotle decided our planet was a sphere, not a flat disc flung through space in a game of Frisbee golf played by Greek gods. But people didn’t believe him. Some flat-folk still don’t believe him. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for his theory of the cosmos which included the heretical idea that the earth revolved around the sun. Before his death he proclaimed, “Perhaps you who pronounce my sentence are in greater fear than I who receive it.” And that’s what it boils down to: fear. A campaign of distrust based on fear slowly erodes faith in scientists and any theory they present. We all know the government is run by rabid lizards in human suits, but scientists have saved our bacon for centuries. In 1796, Dr. Edward Jenner used gunk from a cowpox sore to inoculate a child against smallpox and gave the world its first hope to combat the terrible illness. When he wasn’t performing in “Hamilton,” President Thomas Jefferson strongly recommended smallpox vaccinations to eradicate the disease. Dr. Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine in 1955, becoming a national hero. When vaccines for measles, whoop-


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ing cough, rabies, and tetanus were introduced, they were welcomed as miracles. Researchers first identified human coronavirus in 1965 and studied diseases like SARS and MERS before COVID-19 jumped up like a maniacal Jack-in-thebox. The COVID vaccine was based on years of research, not months of blindly pouring pretty colors into test tubes. And what about climate change? For decades, researchers told us fossil fuels contribute to an increase of greenhouse gases, which sounds like a great sustainable energy source, but actually traps heat and warms the planet. What did we do to those silly goose scientists? We ripped out their livers and made foie gras. Now we have higher temperatures, severe storms, drought, flooding, Oliva Rodrigo and wildfires because, just like when Aristotle and Bruno walked the (much cooler) earth, people can’t wrap their minds around reality. With little or no science knowledge, deniers continue the assault, and the world is paying the price. What evidence would change their minds? Why do they believe conspiracy theories over proven results? I guess you can guide someone to wisdom, but you can’t make them think.



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February 2022 | Page 23

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